When you're renting and decide that you don't like the neighborhood that you're in, moving someplace else isn't that difficult. But when you own your home you're pretty much stuck with the neighborhood.
So, before you buy your home in the wrong neighborhood, here are a few tips on choosing a good neighborhood that's right for you.
1. Visit the neighborhood you're thinking about moving to several times. Visit during the weekdays, on evenings during the week, and on weekend days and weekend nights.
2. Notice the differences between the times that you visit. Are there loud parties, barking dogs, or junky-looking cars parked on the street? These little irritations are subjective, and what bothers one person might not bother another.
3. Talk to the neighbors. If you see people out for a walk or working in their front yard, stop to say hello and ask them how they like living in the neighborhood, and what they think of their neighbors. Not everyone will be talkative, but many people will be. Not only will you be able to gather keen insights on the area you're considering moving to, but you'll get a chance to meet your future neighbors as well.
4. Visit some of the local businesses. Dropping in on some of the local restaurants or shops, especially during the evenings or on weekends, will give you a good idea of the type of people that live in the area you're looking at, and will help you to decide whether or not you'll fit in.